LONDON, June 14 (Reuters) - British Cycling has been heavily criticised for failings of governance and leadership in an independent review into the sport published on Wednesday following allegations of bullying and sexism.
It said the sport’s drive for medals meant behavioural issues were not addressed.
“The panel found that there were failings in British Cycling’s governance and leadership, monitoring and supervision of the WCP (World Class Programme), training and development, and management and communications with staff and athletes,” it said.
The panel recommended a root and branch review of governance, calling for leadership to change, staff to be better trained in equality and discrimination and that future funding should be conditional on implementation of its recommendations.
The review was jointly commissioned by British Cycling and UK Sport last April after Jess Varnish made allegations of bullying and sexism against coach Shane Sutton after she was dropped.
Other riders also made allegations against Sutton, which he denied. The Australian was suspended, but immediately quit. An internal inquiry by the British Cycling Board upheld an allegation that Sutton referred to female riders in insulting terms.
British Cycling’s chairman, Jonathan Browning, said he accepted the report’s findings.
“We accept, in full, the recommendations in the CIR (Cycling Independent Review) and apologise for where we have failed or fallen short of the standards which we should have achieved,” he said.
”It is clear from the CIR that our structures and procedures, especially at the leadership level within the World Class Programme were lacking.
“Since the findings were shared with us, we have rapidly made major changes to the WCP and to our leadership, operations and governance so that we can ensure that British Cycling learns these lessons and becomes a world class governing body.”
British Cycling is due to receive 43 million pounds ($55 million) from government funding bodies UK Sport and Sport England. ($1 = 0.7855 pounds) (Reporting by Neil Robinson; Editing by Alison Williams)